Track Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Black Summer

It’s the four-minute moment fans of the funky monks have been waiting for. Ushering in the long-awaited return of John Frusciante, but would he be able to ignite some fire in the belly of a band who have made mediocrity their home for the last decade? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

From the first chord, Black Summer is peppered with Frusciante’s signature Hendrix-inspired flutterings, and the Chili Pepper faithful can expel their bated breath and breathe a sign of relief. The sex magik is back!

Kiedis and Frusciante deliver a nostalgic masterclass of vocalist and guitarist tending to the needs of the other. On that same note, Black Summer could work beautifully stripped-back and unplugged.

Frusciante’s backing vocals are as welcoming as a well-worn pair of slippers – this was an area the band struggled with when Josh Klinghoffer kept Frusciante’s seat warm for the last fifteen years. And Frusciante’s guitar solos – though not necessarily complex – ooze raw and sincere emotion that mirror Kiedis’s sorrowful tone.

Black summer will be accepted by the faithful, but may not knock any of the classics of their pedestals; in all fairness, the band have not delivered a hit for over a decade that could dethrone even the lesser known classics.

If Black Summer is the statement of things to come, we may very well be treated to Stadium Arcadium 2.0.


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